Internet fraudster bags six months in Port Harcourt

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Justice A. T. Mohammed of the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State has convicted and sentenced Paul Otanor to six months imprisonment for defrauding a foreigner of the sum of $600 (Six Hundred United States Dollars).

Otanor was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Port Harcourt’s Zonal Office on a one-count charge bordering on impersonation contrary to Section 22 (3) (a) of the Cyber Crimes (Prohibition Prevention, etc) Act, 2015 and punishable under Section 22 (4) of the same Act.

Otanor’s journey to prison started when operatives of the EFCC arrested him sometimes in May 2019 in Warri, Delta State for internet-related offences. Documents containing false pretences were found on him.

Paul Otanor

He confessed to the crime through his written statements that he was operating different gmail accounts and identities to defraud his unsuspecting victims. Some of the gmail accounts are: paulnewlife217@gmail.comotanor70@gmail.com andkentymark455@gmail.com. He was thereafter, charged with internet fraud.

The charge reads: “That you, Paul Otanor (a.k.a. Kent Mark) sometimes in May 2019, in Port Harcourt, Rivers State within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court fraudulently impersonated one Kent Mark with intent to gain advantage for yourself and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 22 (3) (a) of the Cyber Crimes (Prohibition Prevention, etc) Act, 2015 and punishable under Section 22 (4) of the same Act”.

The defendant pleaded guilty to the charge.

Both the counsel for the EFCC, S. Chime and defence counsel, Edo Anabel agreed on the convict’s plea of guilty.

Justice Mohammed thereafter, convicted and sentenced him to six months imprisonment with an option of fine of N100,000 (One Hundred Thousand Naira). The trial judge also ordered that the sum of $600 fraudulently obtained from Brenda Pearson, a foreigner, be returned to her.

Tony Orilade
Tony Orilade
Tony Orilade, a Nigerian journalist, is Acting Head, Media and Publicity of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in Abuja, Nigeria. This is an official statement from him. The headline might have been slightly modified.

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